Photo: Simon Lambert
Photo: Simon Lambert
Everybody has their own way of preparing this classic dish. Here I have simplified it by roasting the ingredients in the oven. 

Give it a go, as it really is a dish made for summer.

Serves 4

olive oil
6 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly
few sprigs of fresh thyme
1 330g tin tomatoes
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 red onions, cut into wedges
1 aubergine, cut into thick chunks
3 courgettes, cut into long chunks
2 red or yellow peppers, cut into thick strips
4 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 bunch of fresh basil
salt and cracked black pepper

Heat the oven to 210degC.

Add 1 tablespoon oil to a large heavy-based pot, heat over a moderate temperature and add the garlic. Fry until the garlic is a lightly golden colour, then add the tin of tomatoes and balsamic vinegar and reduce the temperature to simmer.

Prepare all the vegetables as directed. Keeping them separate as they need to be roasted in batches.

Begin with the onions and peppers.

Toss lightly in a little oil and seasoning and spread evenly over a baking sheet. Roast for 5 minutes and move around and cook for a further 5 minutes. Remove and add to the pot with the tomato sauce.

Toss the aubergine in a little oil and seasoning and roast as you did for the peppers. Remove when golden and add to the tomato sauce.

Do the same with the courgettes and, once golden, add to the tomato sauce, the chopped tomatoes and roughly chopped basil.

Stir gently to combine and cook for 30 minutes so the vegetables take on the flavours of the sauce and become tender.

Adjust seasoning and serve either hot or at room temperature.

This dish gets better after a day or two.

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